remote infuences on your place

Lovely day so walk over Rooley Moor between Rossendale and Rochdale. It was thought originally to have been a medieval route linking Whalley Abbey and the monks of Spotland,

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Much of Rooley Moor Road was setted in the mid 1860s, as a job creation scheme for Rossendale cotton workers impoverished by the cotton famine. This was a shortage of raw cotton to supply the mills due to the blockade of Confederate ports by Unionists during the American Civil war. The effect was profound, with short time working at best (with some cotton from India and Egypt), massive demands on poor-relief and near starvation.

in 1863 Parliament passed the Public Works (Manufacturing Districts) Act allowing local authorities to borrow at low interest to fund projects of public benefit. The setting of Rooley Moor Road was one of these, Alexandra Park in Oldham another.

Despite the hardship many Lancashire people supported Lincoln. In 1862 a group of mill girls sent a letter to Lincoln supporting his actions; his return acknowledged their hardship and praised their stance as ‘an instance of sublime Christian heroism”.

Other consequences were in the migration of individuals, many of whom left to seek work elsewhere. One of my ancestors has older and younger siblings born in Rossendale. She was born in Stockton on Tees, where her family went to seek work during the cotton famine.

The history of one place can be influenced by events far removed from it, and a one-place study may stretch out a very long way...